Big Problems & God’s Small Miracles

If unusual or lucky events in life are going to be attributed to divine power, there are questions about God that also need to be addressed.

People often see and thank God for little miracles that they see in daily life. So many things happen that seem unlikely and odd. If these are miracles, what does it say about God?

God’s little miracles
The faithful see God’s hand behind what they see as many little miracles in life. These potential miracles range from everything from the formations of clouds and images on toast to getting through a fall without breaking a bone. Whatever they are, these perceived miracles serve to strengthen faith.

Are they really miracles?
Of course, there is no hard evidence that anything that ever happens had a divine hand behind it. What the faithful do not take into account when they see miracles are all the times that nothing appears to happen. For example, for everyone who miraculously survives what could have been a fatal accident without a scratch, there are many who are maimed or killed. The person who prays for a new possession and gets it needs to consider all the other people who prayed but never saw results (see the power of prayer). There is no hard evidence good luck happens for any reason other than chance or proper preparation.

There also seems to be an element of human self-centeredness in the belief miracles are being performed for them. It is nice to think you are being helped, but it is presumptuous to automatically assume a being with the power to create the universe is taking an interest in you.

If they are miracles
Let’s assume as least some of these events really are miracles. This can, in fact, raise troubling questions about God when one considers the relative needs of people. Every day, there is enormous suffering in the world. From children starving and being abused to political prisoners being tortured, not to mention acts of genocide. Many of those suffering are good people, and they frequently are religious (if that makes a difference). Clearly, not everyone who needs serious help is receiving it. While it can perhaps be argued that not everyone who asks for divine help should always get it, it is troubling if miracles are being granted in a way that totally lacks any sense of priority.

People say that God works in mysterious ways but shouldn’t a merciful God operate in a rational way that minimizes suffering? Why would a god do little miracles like creating images in clouds or on toast while letting a child starve to death? Moral people do not stage tiny demonstrations of their power when they could be saving lives. Therefore, it seems odd that God would do things that amount to little more than unproven demonstrations of his power when he instead could do things like stop torture or genocide.

A football game or a dying child
For god to be answering the prayers of athletes seeking victory and the like, he has to be giving priority to those prayers over those of parents of dying children and others suffering much more (or ignoring them because nobody is praying for them). Unless nobody had a bigger problem than you, there is no way your prayers could have been answered without you getting priority over someone with a worse problem.

Free will
One argument that has been raised is that God cannot interfere with free will. However, as covered in God and free will, there are problems with this argument. For example, there are many people such as the brainwashed, mentally ill and children who die young who never have the chance to exercise free will. Besides, letting a child be raped and murdered while doing nothing is destroying the chance of the child ever being able to exercise free will while protecting that of the killer.gods small miracles

God and evil
Why doesn’t God stop evil looks at the question of why God would allow so much evil in the world when he could easily stop it. Finally, God and empathy looks at questions of how God could just sit and watch atrocities being committed while he does

In the final analysis, those who interpret some small events as miracles need to consider the full implications of those events really being miracles. It is not simply that God would choose to intervene in some way to create miracles. If these miracles are, in fact, occurring, then creating them took precedence over other issues that normal people would consider for more pressing from a moral and humane standpoint. Either these are not truly miracles, or the god these people are worshiping appears to act in a very immoral way.

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Faith can be a very dangerous thing if not backed up by evidence. Question everything and do not blindly follow. Certainty does not necessitate truth. If your God is almighty, he can certainly stand up to human questioning.

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